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Chapter 8: The Lion’s Roar

The old lion went down to catch hold of the young lion. The sheep started running and the young lion also started running - naturally. He believed he was a sheep.

But the old lion was a man just like Joshu. He got hold of him. He started trembling, and the old lion said, “You idiot! You are trembling and weeping and crying and asking that you should be released because you want to join your group. There is something you don’t know, it seems you are unaware, and I will not leave you unless I make you aware. You come with me!”

He dragged him to a nearby lake. The lake was silent - no ripples, no wind was there. He took the young lion to the edge of the water and told him, “Look in the water. Look at my face and your face.”

Instantaneously, from the young lion a roar came out. It was not any effort, it was simply the fact of seeing that he is a lion - immediately a roar that resounded in faraway mountains.

The old lion said, “My work is done. Now do you know who you are?”

The young lion thanked the old lion and said, “You have been very kind to me. Otherwise my whole life I would have lived chewing grass with the sheep, continuously afraid of being alone. You have given me a new birth.”

That’s exactly the function of a master: to create a situation in which the lion’s roar comes spontaneously, the recognition of your being. And Joshu was a great craftsman, immensely capable of devising new methods to wake up those who are fast asleep and completely unaware of their being.

These sutras will help you to understand his methodology.

Once Joshu was asked, “What is the special teaching of your school?”

Now such questions are very ordinary and common; you can ask them to any philosopher, you can ask them to any priest, any pedagogue. But you cannot ask such a question to a Zen master.

That is where the Zen master is a completely different category - because Zen has no teaching, what to say about special or not special. It has a method of awakening you, but it has no doctrine, no theology. It does not teach you anything, it simply wakes you up and leaves you liberated.

It does not program you for anything. Its function is finished the moment you are aware. Your very awareness will become your discipline, your compassion, your love. Your actions will be transformed by your awareness, not by rehearsals, not by repressing the opposite.

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